Psalm 99 and the Transfiguration

Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday.  Eight days after announcing he would be killed in Jerusalem Jesus took Peter, James and John up a mountain where they seemed to have promptly fell asleep. It won’t be the last time.   As they snoozed while Jesus prayed, “the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.” (Luke 9: 28-36)

Psalm 99, the appointed Psalm, gives us a vivid image the true identity of this metamorphosized man named Jesus.  He is the king of the universe enthroned on the cherubim which overshadowed the Ark of the Covenant in Holy of Holies of the temple. “Let the peoples tremble…Let the earth quake.”  As we look across the purple valley of Lenten repentance, we see in the distance that the peoples and earth will tremble and shake on a Friday when this king of the universe named God Saves is enthroned, not on the cherubim but on a crude cross.  Nevertheless, this One, who is proclaimed three times as holy in the psalm, makes that cross a Holy of holies.  A couple of days later, on a Sunday morn, when the day is barely born, again the peoples of the earth and earth itself tremble and quake.  God Saves will burst from the tomb, alive and ready to claim the glory which he briefly showed to three drowsy disciples on the Mt. of Transfiguration.

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